By Chetan Nayak
Garmin’s Fenix smartwatches have always been premium wearables catering to the more fitness-oriented users. The Fenix 7 series is no exception and targeted at hardcore fitness enthusiasts, who not only want to monitor a lot of data, but also need some smart elements in their wearable. But the Rs 98,990 price tag means this is not for everyone. Here’s my review on what the device offers.
The Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar has a large and bulky design typical of watches which are meant for outdoor use. The watch manages to look good though, unless you have really slender wrists. Apart from this, there is also a flashlight on the top of the dial that can be quickly turned on or off by double pressing the top left functional button. This is really handy and I found myself using the flashlight on the watch more than the one on my phone.
The display is now touchscreen, which is an upgrade from older watches in the Fenix series. This makes navigating through the user interface a lot easier. The watch comes with a transflective display. This is a special kind of display panel that stays on at all times, and emits light by reflecting whatever light is thrown at the surface.
One of the best aspects of the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar is its battery life that can last you from 10 to 14 days. This is a combination of the battery capacity as well as the solar ring that circles the circular dial. Under the right conditions outdoors, the Solar ring will allow the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar to power itself using sunlight and hence, ease off the inner battery, which further extends your overall battery life. The longer battery levels per single charge also means you won’t be charging this watch three to four times a week, something you will be doing with many other premium smartwatches.
The highlight of the Fenix watches has always been the plethora of fitness tracking and health monitoring features they offer. With the Fenix 7X, you get map support, various sports modes and multi-band GNSS support for GPS in addition to features such as heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring and blood oxygen tracking. The watch provides you with a lot of data and thanks to the lasting battery life, you can actually see long-term results now, and monitor aspects such as how your sleep pattern has been over the past week.
What’s not good?
The transflective display on the Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar is a double-edged sword. As useful as it is outside, reading it indoors isn’t a great experience until you press the top left button to light up the screen. Another aspect is the straps. While the straps themselves are replaceable, Garmin doesn’t provide standard 20mm or 22mm straps here, instead opting for their own fastening mechanism. This means you will need to buy new straps from Garmin alone, and they could be a little pricey. You also miss out on a number of true smartwatch features that you’d expect would be present on a watch at this price. There’s no wireless charging, calling support, and in-depth messaging.
You’ve probably already guessed that the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar isn’t a smartwatch for everyone. For fitness enthusiasts, it is a great monitoring device on your wrist, offering accurate tracking features, coupled with neat additions like the transflective screen and solar charging. However, if you are going to be spending most of your days either at home or in the office, the Fenix 7X would be an ill-fitting choice, and premium features that you may desire like replying to messages or wireless charging will still be missing. These users should look elsewhere for a smartwatch option.
Display size & resolution: 1.4-inch diameter, 280 x 280 pixels, 89g weight
Display type: Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Case material: Fibre-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover
Battery life: Up to 10-14 days
Estimated street price: Rs 98,990
You might also be interested in: Apple Watch Series 7, Samsung Galaxy Watch4, Fitbit Sense